2021 05 21

The Hybrid workplace – yet another new normal?

So I’m finally joining in the chant of the prophets on how to organize our work life post the pandemic. But I want to add a perspective I haven’t seen so much of, and that I find crucial – a growth mindset. I hope this article can give you interesting reading as well as practical tips on how to make a transition towards a growth mindset, which I see as one of the most important prerequisites in to the next new normal. and the next. And the next...

Everyone seems need to have a say on our ways of working post the pandemic. Research report start to come, and I believe we can agree on that we need decisions and plans for the autumn. It’s all about time and space really. The last year, we have got used to a flexibility that for lot’s of us wasn’t there before. So just to close that discussion, here is some reading that I recommend:

On space – I really liked this video (in Swedish) från Swedish Engagement researcher Leif Denti on distributed ways of working https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAtQCnC_2xU

And considering time. The consequences on bad time management can be summed up in these two articles from Stanford and HBR. First – how and why to avoid staring into a screen all day https://news.stanford.edu/2021/02/23/four-causes-zoom-fatigue-solutions/ And second – the importance of time for reflection and recreation https://hbr.org/2017/02/how-to-establish-a-meeting-free-day-each-week

Lena Lid Falkman at Stockholm School of Economics sums this up very neat in this article https://www.hhs.se/en/research/sweden-through-the-crisis/covid-19-and-activity-based-workplaces/

Now that we have cleared that, let’s get down to the essentials – creating a growth mindset. Established by Psychology professor Carol Dweck it teaches us that the ability to be open to challenges and learning opportunities is key to develop (See her TEDx talk here https://youtu.be/J-swZaKN2Ic ) and I believe she really has a point. 

To embrace change and the VUCA world we’re in we need this mindset. And it aligns really well with a lot of trends in management right now, so it should be a no brainer, or? Just take self leadership, agile, Googles research on psychological safety and Senge’s Learning Organization. The models are all in place, but implementation seems to be tough.

I still believe we can scaffold a growth mindset and it’s a shared responsibility. Both individuals, teams and organizations need to be involved. Bruce Avolio and Steven Hannah’s research gets a bit more detailed on the prerequisites. We need

  • Learning Goal Orientation – time and space to focus on learning, not just performace. So figure out how this can be part of your daily routines.
  • Developmental Efficacy – One example given is role models. We are more likely to challenge ourselves when we see others that have succeded before us. So make sure to network and meet others in same roles, alumni, and play around with motivational factors
  • Self-Awareness – it starts with you! To become and efficient team member you need to become aware of your own attitudes and behaviour. Make sure your competence development plans include more than technical skills. There are lots of leadership training out there. Don’t be afraid to send your employees on such, but make sure they bring their insights back to the table.
  • Leader complexity – Leadership is sure complex, and embracing and accepting this is base for better decision making. Share and reflect together.
  • Meta-Cognitive Ability – We are so in to our own boxes that we seldom see the big picture. Encourage cross functional task forces and make sure to break those silos. Not just on a managerial level

In depth reading for those interested here https://www.researchgate.net/publication/232558356_Developmental_Readiness_Accelerating_leader_development

I don’t say it’s easy, but I say that if you have a consistent way of working you are more likely to create a growth mindset and do well in the competition at the same time as you create a sustainable workplace. And who gets to decide? Well why don’t you play a game of delegation poker with your team to surface opinions on how to make the first small step towards a setting that supports the growth mindset. This is a neat yet sometimes provocative tool developed by Dutch Agile-evangelist Jürgen Appelo within the framework Management 3.0. https://www.hhs.se/en/research/sweden-through-the-crisis/covid-19-and-activity-based-workplaces/

Beyond Retreat is one of the initiatives I cocreate to inspire leaders and managers to dare change their focus a little and develop a growth mindset. Read more on Beyond Retreat here https://beyond-retreat.confetti.events/

Together with Nexer Tech Talent https://www.sigmayoungtalent.se I introduce newly graduates to growth mindset and practical ways to develop their organization towards a learning organization. 

Change starts today! Please reach out if you’re curious of how we could join forces!

Johan Norrfjärd
I work with people driven business development. Simply because I want to give momentum to the right kind of transformation. The transformation coming from vertical development that creates a better world for current and coming generations. I strive for trust, happiness and freedom in all collaborations and co-creations.
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